HILO – A blessing ceremony was held this morning by the state Department for Transportation (DOT) for the Hilo Harbor Kumau Street Entrance Improvements Project.
The $3.4 million project will widen Kumau Street from two lanes to four lanes and modify the intersection of Kumau Street and Kalanianaole Street to improve safety and relieve traffic congestion. Road improvements include new asphaltic concrete pavement, concrete sidewalks, curbs, gutters, drainage systems, water mains and additional street lighting at the intersection of Kumau and Kalanianaole Streets.
“Hilo Harbor is a vital facility for the Big Island’s east side and these improvements will benefit the entire island,” said Glenn Okimoto, DOT Director. “The on-going projects to improve and expand harbor operations will serve these communities for generations to come.”
The Kumau Street Entrance Improvements will provide an alternate entry and exit point for commercial cargo traffic when cruise ships are in port. Currently, during cruise ship dockings at Pier 1, cargo operations and cruise ship passenger traffic can overload roadway capacity at the Kuhio Street entrance, leading to traffic and pedestrian congestion. The new improvements will help to separate the passenger traffic from cargo operations to improve safety and overall efficiency.
Completion of the Kumau Street Entrance Improvements Project is anticipated in late January 2015.